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    Download one of 3 different sized weighted decision matrices to save you the bother of building one yourself Download Now!

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    Follow the instructions here if you don't know how to use a decision matrix or need to remind yourself Instructions

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    Video Demo

    Watch our narrated video which explains in detail how you can use your weighted decision matrix Click to watch

When to use a weighted decision matrix

When to use a weighted decision matrix

Some decisions are easy, some are much more difficult because of the number of factors involved in them.  Do I eat an apple or an orange is a simple question to answer and we’re guessing not many people would need a weighted decision matrix for that one but what if you’re deciding something much more complex?  For example, you need to pick a school for your child to attend or you need to decide which villa to rent on this years holiday?  Suddenly there are many more factors to consider and the weighted decision matrix comes into play.  Take the choice of school, things to consider would include the standard of teaching; the distance from home; are little Jimmy’s friends also going there; the sporting facilities; after school care etc etc.  The weighted decision matrix allows you to weight each of those factors by importance so that you can make a decision based on what are actually the most important factors.  Giving each factor a value strips out some of the emotion involved when taking a decision because you are being honest with yourself about what really matters.  Jimmy will be able to make new friends so that factor from a practical point of view is less important than the distance from home the school is.  In this way your decision becomes an objective rather than a subjective one.  Now you can go and make a decision!

What is a weighted decision matrix?

Weighted decision matrix

The Weighted Decision Matrix is a very simple tool designed to help anybody make a decision (e.g. what shall I eat for tea) by breaking it down into the multiple factors that must be considered (e.g. Taste, Nutrition and Preparation time).  Those factors are then weighted in order of importance so that the most important factor has the most bearing on the result obtained.  The potential options (e.g. Fish, Sandwich, Rice or Pizza) are all scored against the factors being considered, the tool then calculates a score taking into account the weightings and a decision is reached which will rank the options in order of importance.  These examples are worked through below and the scores represent our opinion and not fact!  The weighted decision matrix was invented by Stuart Pugh.

How to use the weighted decision matrix

The first thing to consider is obvious – what’s the decision you need to make! It could be something simple or more fundamental, it really doesn’t matter, the decision matrix will cope with either scenario. We like to use it for big family decisions such as where to go on holiday or what sort of car do we get next. You can all look at the screen, decide on the factors involved and then debate the scores and when you do that all angles are covered. Coming soon, you’ll be able to save the decision you reached and send it to your friends and family via email, Facebook or Twitter! So, what to do…

  1. As above, choose the question to answer, double click on the “Type your question here” cell and type it in
  2.  Next you need to decide on the factors involved in the decision you are making. When considering the question think Who, When, Why, What and How to prompt you to think of everything you need to. Look at our example on the home page to get you started.
  3. Now you need to weight the factors you settled on in 2. It’s easiest to do this by giving the most important factor a value of 5 and the least important a value of 1. It’s important to do this but if you really can’t decide on the order it is okay to give two factors a weighting that is the same. We don’t recommend it as you are less likely to get a clear result but hey, that’s up to you.
  4. List all of your possible options on the options row next, any order you like.
  5. The final step is to score all of your options out of 5 or 10 or even a hundred against all of the different factors. So option A may score a 5 for the first factor but only a 1 for the second but both could end up with the same weighted score depending on how you set up the weightings in step 3. Confused? Just have a go and it will all become clear.

We will be making a video to show all of this shortly so don’t forget to come back soon to check it out but if you get really stuck you can tweet us or ask a question on Facebook as well. Have fun!